Thousands of cormorants and penguins spend their lives stressed and protected just by a wall that divides the human intensive extraction operations. 
Mining vessels contaminate the land adjacent to the marine reserve of Punta San Juan

"BLUE ALERT" is the name of our most recent effort, devoted to raise awareness, and to contribute to spreading the word about the fragile situation of Punta San Juan (PSJ), the most productive coastal marine site in the world​​​​​​​.
PSJ is part of the Peruvian Guano Islands, Isles and Capes National Reserve , which are managed by the National Service of Protected Natural Areas of Peru . PSJ is a 133 acre (54 Ha) peninsula located on the southern coast of Peru, in the city of Marcona, in the province of Ica. 

PSJ is home to the largest colony of Humboldt penguins in Peru, as well as large populations of South American fur seals and sea lions. It is one of the ten most important breeding sites for guano birds, a common name for an aggregation of three species: Guanay cormorant, Peruvian pelican and Peruvian boobies, which nest together on the islands and islets of the coast, and produce large amounts of guano. It is also home to other species of birds like Inca terns, Belcher´s gulls, snowy egrets, black oystercatchers, kelp gulls, amongst others. Sightings of other marine mammal species such as marine 
otters, humpback whales, sperm whales, common dolphins, dusky dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, orca whales and other cetaceans are common at this site.

Due to the great availability of food near the coast at this location, there is an abundance of marine predators and great biodiversity at PSJ. This is due to its unique geographical location within the productive Humboldt Current System (HCS) that runs along the majority of Peru´s coast. The HCS is one of four major upwelling systems that gives rise to one the most productive marine ecosystems in the world.

In the case of the HCS, the upwelling of nutrients occurs in coasts of Peru and Chile. However, PSJ is the closest point to the marine trench of the HCS, providing large volumes of nutrient-rich waters near the coast. 
This, together with a series of oceanographic features, has led PSJ to become known as the most productive coastal marine site in the world (Bakun & Weeks 2008). 
This natural productivity, together with over 100 years of protection granted by the Peruvian government Guano Islands, Isles and Capes where guano birds congregate, allowing the coexistence of large colonies of marine predators to thrive in protected areas as is PSJ.
An aerial view shows the enormous colony of black cormorants nesting during the summer season. 
Intensive human extraction activities flourish due to the incredible resources of this costal area, putting enormous pressure on the marine fauna that inhabits in Punta San Juan Reserve. Due to the precarious economic situation of the government agencies that take care of the reserve, mining, fishing and other commercial activities are virtually without limitations. 
For more information about Punta San Juan please visit:

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